Max the cat returns home after a 6-month (mis)adventure: dates and data from Olmsted

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OLMSTED FALLS, Ohio — Maxwell Smart is back.

For the hundreds of Facebook viewers who left over 3,000 comments, this news is, well, the cat’s meow.

Pamela Smillie kept Olmsted Falls, Olmsted Township and Columbia Township readers on various Facebook community pages anxiously awaiting the good news. He finally arrived on the 194th day – May 21.

“The neighbor trapped Max! I’m going to get it!!!” read his message on that infamous day.

Here is Max’s story:

Pamela went to her vet in Olmsted Falls on November 8 with her two cats. One, aged 18, was to be euthanized due to his state of health. Maxwell Smart was there for a vaccination. Due to unfortunate circumstances, the bottom of the carrier bag separated from the top as the vet tech carried it from the car to the office. Max gave up and shot into the woods.

“I was stunned. I put Tink down and shot towards him. He was gone. I looked for him, but no trace of him,” Pamela said.

Pamela returned to this Columbia Road location for several days. She walked around and put up posters in that area. The Sprague Road resident shared her story on Facebook’s Olmsted Falls/Olmsted Township community page.

People immediately responded to every message she wrote. And there were a lot of them!

“I received advice. Someone who knows cats well said he wouldn’t go far. So I started looking every day, putting bigger posters on Columbia, Water Street, Lewis Road and the like,” she said.

She placed a trail camera in that area. In week three, Max was seen on camera below the Columbia Road Moosehead Hoof and Ladder restaurant patio. Pamela has placed a living trap in this area with her scent, hoping to lure him in.

“I only caught (other) cats and raccoons. I know all the neighborhood cats there now. I would ask them, ‘Have you seen Max? He’s black and white with a long tail and a white tip. It’s unlike any other,” she said.

“I looked in nooks and crannies, but no Max.”

She said some people even started small searches in the area, hoping to find him. She has also spoken to business owners and even knocked on residential doors.

She was persistent, believing that Max would be found.

She put 2,000 miles on her car the first eight weeks trying to find him in the woods, plus trips to buy a live trap, buy posters, markers, tape to waterproof them, signage posting bigger and more markers, putting notices in mailboxes and other attempts to help find Max.

Someone near Riverview Farm said she thought she saw Max at Turkeyfoot Cemetery. It was New Year’s Day. Someone later saw him on the back property east of Lewis Road in Sandstone Ridge in the eastern part of Olmsted Township, just beyond the cemetery.

However, the big winter storm hit and Pamela was unable to walk back there at that time. Someone in that area did, but no sign of Max.

“Cats hibernate. They don’t move much then,” she said. “It had been maybe three to four weeks that I couldn’t do anything because of the snow accumulation.”

Max’s owner, Pamela Smillie, said he was a “special” cat and acted more like a dog than a feline. His 194-day (mis)adventure has been documented on social media. (Joanne Berger DuMound, special for cleveland.com)

On March 3, she received a call that Max had been seen near Riverview Farm again. She was relieved because that meant he had survived the winter. Her Facebook followers were also thrilled to hear the news. But when she arrived, he wasn’t there.

Pamela never gave up. She continued to walk around and put the trail camera where Max can walk.

In mid-May, Pamela received a call from a man who lives on Lewis Road south of Bagley and near West Road. He said he had seen Max around 4-4:30 p.m. the past few days. He said the cat had a collar.

“It caught my attention because Max has one. We go for walks together. I called him back, and what he said matched Max’s description and behavior. He said the next time we he would see it, he would take a picture with his phone. Well he did and it was Max!

She went, but Max was gone.

She got a call from another resident on May 18 who said she saw him. Again he was gone. On May 19, she set up the trail camera in this area, hoping for a sighting. She spoke with a resident who also uses live traps. They agreed to work together. She placed hers and he placed some on her property.

At 7:37 a.m. on May 21, this resident called and said, “We got him. Max was in his living trap, he was fine.

“I yelled at Greg (her husband), I said, ‘Bye, they got Max’ and I was off,” Pamela said.

Max was a little stressed and excited, but he didn’t “freak out,” as Pamela put it. She took the trap home and released it into the bedroom. He immediately ran under the bed. She pushed a bowl of food towards him. Then he took a look.

“I was sitting on the end of the bed and he came in front of my leg. I squatted down and stroked him under his chin. Then gently down his body. I then picked him up and gave him a big hug,” Pamela said.

“He snuggled into it. It was like a perfect storm. All came together at the end.

Pamela’s husband, Gregory McGill, said he was “really hopeful”.

“I am anxious. I thought of the worst-case scenario,” he said. “I was blown away, though. Pamela can do whatever she wants when she thinks about it. Nothing stops my wife. She never gave up. »

car posters

Here are some of the more than 100 signs Pamela Smillie displayed in the Olmsted community while trying to find her cat, Maxwell Smart. (Photo courtesy of Pamela Smillie)

Pamela would like to thank everyone who helped her on her journey to finding Maxwell Smart.

“I couldn’t have done it without the support from the community, especially from Facebook,” she said. “I met people everywhere asking about Max. They all rallied.

“Some women even said that I was an inspiration to them. It lifted me up. I could feel the prayers of the whole community.

Max now sleeps right next to Pamela’s face. If she turns her head, he moves to be next to her. They continue to walk around their yard with a leash attached to his collar.

You can enjoy his antics on his The Misadventures of Maxwell Smarthe facebook page.

One of the reasons Pamela knew he would survive was that he was a good hunter.

“His hunting skills have improved dramatically,” she said in one of her videos on her page.

What an exciting journey – and what an ending for Maxwell Smart, Pamela, Greg and the community who hoped for the best.

Summer help: The Olmsted Township Services Department is once again offering its Student Summer Worker Program. This is a part-time seasonal position for anyone aged 16 or over.

Hours are 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The salary is $14 per hour. Go to the department’s Facebook page to scan the code of an application. Call the department at 440-235-1011 if you have any questions.

Fundraising for music: Dine at Chipotle in North Ridgeville from 5-9 p.m. on June 6 and help raise money for the Olmsted Falls Music Association. The group will receive a third of sales if you show a flyer found on its Facebook page or order online for pickup using code WKZXJHD.

Chipotle is at 32228 Lorain Road.

Bike Helmet Safety Campaign: The The Olmsted Township Police Department partners with AAA and Swings-n-Things to encourage minors to wear helmets when riding bikes.

Children will receive “safety citations” when seen wearing them. The quote can be turned into Swings-N-Things for a free little ice cream cone. You will also have the chance to win a new bike.

Well done Kampus: Two local students have been named to the Grove City College Deans List for the Spring 2022 semester. They are Meg Daugherty and Sully Kilbane. Students must have a GPA of 3.4 to 3.59 to earn this honor.

The following Bowling Green State University students earned the Dean’s List. They achieved a 3.5 GPA or better. They are Katelyn Romanowski, Scott Laird, Austin Negray, Kyle Lewis, Matthew Woehrman, Laney Ventimiglia, Rebecca Johnson, Elizabeth Rajnicek, Justin Bartholomew, Claire Oliver, Justin Andrews, Lindsey LaPinta, Claire Weber, Brendan McIlwee, Jenna Dobos, Connor Simon, Erica Stegens, Franklin Herzog, Grace Kennedy, Mason Olitsky and Breck Pojman.

Information, please: To include news, information, honors or activities in Olmsted Falls and Olmsted Township, contact Joanne DuMound at [email protected]. She is also on Twitter, @JoanneDuMound. The online version of the section on cleveland.com/olmsted has direct links to many news articles.

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